Since search came into being, the way search marketers go about their business has significantly changed. There have been changes to the face of SEO and SEM, and marketers must go along and adjust or fear missing out on any avenue of search. For the last few years, search engines have taken advantage of the opportunity to alter the results their engines yield in order to increase profits by making SEM (paid ads) more prevalent than SEO (organic search).

Misplaced Frustration

SEO professionals get frustrated when search engines implement these changes, but marketers should look at these changes as opportunities to build up their versatility in search. SEM, because of its value, drives the search community. Search engines can’t make money by devoting their results solely to organic SEO results. Thus, search engines must utilize SEM paid ads to bring in cash flow. SEM pays the bills. SEO is there to gather views.

Consumers Drive Search

Search engines will run as much SEM as they can. I say “as much as they can” because ultimately consumers drive search. Marketers must mold their search strategies to fit into the bounds set by search engines; plus, marketers need to give consumers what they want. If consumers don’t like what they see, they’ll look elsewhere. Marketers need to know this. There are plenty of capable search engines on the net. It’s unlikely that any prominent search engine will ever switch over to a fully paid SEM scheme, but search engines certainly intend to place SEM center stage in order to increase profits.

What This Means for Search Marketers

Search is made up of both organic and paid elements. As search engines begins to weigh SEM heavier in search results, SEO marketers must be alert, flexible, and ready. They need to keep their search strategies dynamic and be prepared as search engines inevitably alter their algorithms to include more paid ads.

As SEM becomes more prevalent, users might devalue impertinent SEO results. As SEM continues to occupy search results pages, top, front-page SEO spots become more valuable as they are growing rarer. SEO marketers must be prudent about the future of search and the synergy of SEO and SEM. As SEM ads become more common, leading SEO results increase in value as only the top organic results retain premier placement in search results. Search engines will alter their algorithms to optimize profits, so marketers must be ready for these changes. SEO marketers cannot blindly focus their efforts. They must be flexible.

It’s not only a single search engine that’s shifting focus onto SEM, and it’s not only a single country that comprises the search market. Popular national search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! have all been heavily weighing paid search for some time now. Search marketers everywhere, not only SEO guys, must be flexible as search engines change the game by continually putting greater emphasis on SEM.

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